- The Spirituality of the Earth, by Thomas Berry, 1990
- Thomas Berry's Earth Spirituality and the Great Work,, by Andrew Angyal, Spring 2003
- Paths Of Learning: An Introduction to Educational Alternatives
by Robin Martin, November 2000
Robin contacted me in September 1999 with the following proposition:
The Rat Haus Reality web site is one my favorites in terms of real content
on the Web for helping people access more holistic ways of viewing life;
it's right up there with Znet for alternative ways of thinking! As such,
I'd like to propose a potential collaboration between your organization and
a new project that I'm working on called Learning Options, which is about
holistic education research, and seems quite in sync with your
promote and encourage seeing wholistically, within ourselves, with all our
relations, and throughout our world within universe."
This paper is the initial result of our meeting. Robin's spirit and energy
are inspiring to the extreme. i have already learned loads from this
quicksilver being of bursting curiosity and hope you too will find much
illumination and joy of discovery prompted by Robin's championing of the
creative light burning within each and every one of us.
- Seeing The Post-Corporate World: Life After
Capitalism (PDF, ASCII text formats)
Take this book inside, help grow the future.
- Community Currencies
a positive, possible, practical, and
exciting way to help birth the 21st century!
- Gaia's LifeWeb :
The Writings of Elisabet Sahtouris
- Krishnamurti and David Bohm :
an enquiry into the nature of thought and
the source of conflict in the world
Freedom is not a reaction: freedom is not choice. It is man's pretence
that because he has choice he is free. Freedom is pure observation without
direction, without fear of punishment and reward. Freedom is without
motive; freedom is not at the end of the evolution of man but lies in the
first step of his existence. In observation one begins to discover the
lack of freedom. Freedom is found in the choiceless awareness of our daily
existence and activity.
- Laurens van der Post :
Insights and perceptions from a man whose life was dedicated to teaching
the meaning and value of indigenous cultures in the modern
world, a world he felt is in danger of losing its spiritual
identity to technology, prejudice, empty values, and a lack
of understanding of the interconnectedness of all life on
- The 6 Nations: Oldest
Participatory Democracy on Earth
Also known as the Iroquois Confederacy, they call themselves the
Haudenosaunee or People of the Longhouse. Their story,
and governance, truly based on the consent of the governed,
contains a great deal of life-promoting intelligence
for those of us not familiar with this area of American history.
3 complete books:
- A Dynamic Conceptual Blueprint for Spokane Arts in Community School (SpArCS),
by Patricia Ratcliffe-Phillips, Masters in Curriculum and Instruction,
Creative Arts in Learning Program, Lesley College, Spokane WA, 1998
arts encompass symbol systems that have traditionally
been associated with emotion rather than thought. Consequently,
they have been considered a superfluous diversion from the
serious business of learning through the linguistic and
numerical systems that are considered logic-based, and therefore
essential to functioning effectively in our culture. However,
many students, particularly those who are visual and kinesthetic
learners, have difficulty making sense of the abstract symbol
systems used in reading and mathematics; and the arts provide
alternative symbolic languages that involve students in concrete
experiences that can help all students at every ability level to
go far beyond mastery of "the basics".
distinguishing feature of the human being has been
identified by philosophers and scientists alike, as "the
capacity to create and manipulate symbol systems" (Eisner, 1994,
p. 79). Language and
mathematics are just two of the forms through which individuals
represent and develop "evanescent" ideas and feelings in a
process of creative thinking that makes communication possible.
dance, drama, and visual arts are equally legitimate
symbol systems which are used to make sense of and give
expression to human experience. These symbol systems have
generally been considered of lesser importance than reading,
writing, mathematics, and the sciences in the curriculum,
largely because they are associated with vague and subjective
perception, rather than reason. . . .
of the predominance of a rationalistic world view
that separated reason from perception, as first articulated by
Plato, artists have always sought knowledge and understanding of
the world through the senses. Renaissance scientist and artist,
Leonardo DaVinci said, "All our knowledge has its origins in our
perceptions". In a similar vein, Einstein once explained that
his insight into the theory of relativity came to him through
listening to music. He revealed his multi-dimensional approach
to the search for understanding of the physical universe in
saying that, "The aim of science is the conceptual comprehension
and connection as complete as possible of the sense experiences
in their full diversity" (Oddleifson, 1997, p.38). Eric Oddleifson,
a business executive who is a
passionate proponent of the arts in education, points out that
the aim of arts is similar. Both artists and scientists use
perception and reason to investigate the world in a search for
coherence and meaning.
- Interviews with Joseph Chilton Pearce:
- 1999: Expressing Life's Wisdom: Nurturing Heart-Brain Development Starting With Infants
It all begins with children feeling unconditionally wanted, accepted
and loved. This is the key to the entire operation. You can have
everything else: a high standard of living, the most expensive school
system, the finest teachers in the world; but if the children are
lacking that initial experience of being unconditionally loved by at
least one person, and if they do not feel safe and secure in their
learning environment, then nothing is going to happen very
positively. This cannot be overstated.
literally prevents neural growth in the developing
brains of children. When young children watch too much, it suppresses
the capacity of their brains to create an internal image of some thing,
or some one, or some event not presented to the sensory system by the
environment, which is the essence of what we call "imagination."
Researchers used to think that it was only the content of the
programming that was negatively affecting children. Now we have ample
evidence that the technology of the device is very harmful in and of
itself. In other words, the simple act of watching television has
profoundly negative effects on the physiology of human beings.
- 1998: Waking Up To The Holographic Heart - Starting Over With Education
. . . neurocardiology . . . is the general title of the newest
field of medicine. Oxford
University brought out a huge, thick volume of medical studies from all
over the world entitled, Neurocardiology, which includes studies
that haven't worked their way into the journals yet. Discoveries in the
field of neurocardiology are, believe me, far more awesome then the
discovery of non-locality in quantum mechanics. It is the biggest issue
of the whole century, but it's so far out and so beyond the ordinary,
conceptual grasp, that a lot of the people doing the actual research are
yet to be fully aware of the implications.
to a century ago, Rudolph Steiner said the greatest
discovery of 20th century science would be that the heart is not a pump
but vastly more, and that the great challenge of the coming ages of
humanity would be, in effect, to allow the heart to teach us to think in
a new way. Now, that sounds extremely occult, but we find it's
directly, biologically the case.
- Learning From Ladakh, by Stephan Bodian,
Yoga Journal, May/June, 1992 (ASCII text)
"It took me a long time to accept that the smiles I saw were real,"
[Helena Norberg-Hodge] remembers. "Then, in my
second year there, while at a wedding, I
sat back and observed the guests enjoying themselves. Suddenly I heard
myself saying, 'Aha, they really are that happy.' Only then did I
recognize that I had been walking around with cultural blinders on,
convinced that hidden behind the jokes and laughter had to be the same
frustration, jealousy, and inadequacy as in my own society."
soon as she dropped her cultural preconceptions, she began finding
evidence everywhere of an extraordinary dignity, self-respect, and joie
de vivre. Most Ladakhis, she observed, derive contentedness from within
and rarely allow external situations to disturb their highly prized
equanimity. She tells, for example, of accompanying a traditional
"thanka" painter on a trip to Kashmir. Everywhere the two visitors
went, people ridiculed the man, poking fun at his "backward" dress and
mimicking his language. But much to Norberg-Hodge's amazement, he
remained completely unaffected by the abuse and never lost his cheerful,
smiling demeanor. When she asked him why he didn't get angry, he
replied, in characteristic Ladakhi fashion, "Chi choen?" ("What's the
point?") -- meaning, why should I allow my precious peace of mind to be
disrupted by such inconsequential circumstances?
Norberg-Hodge began to realize that this peace of mind in
the face of life's inevitable ups and downs was based not only on the
teachings of Buddhism, but on a deep sense of belonging instilled in
Ladakhis from infancy. "The Ladakhis belong to their place on Earth,"
she explains. "They are bonded to that place through intimate daily
contact, through a knowledge about their immediate environment with its
changing seasons, needs, and limitations. . . .
people become fixated on how much money they have, they feel
pressured to earn more, the pace of life accelerates -- and one of the
first of the scarce natural resources to be depleted is time. In
traditional Ladakh, no matter how much work there was to be done, life
was lived at a human pace, time was plentiful, and everyone could afford
to be patient, explains Norberg-Hodge. Now, "time-saving" technologies
and the money economy have turned time into a commodity that can be
bought and sold, forcing people to speed up to keep step with machines.
As a result, they're spending less time just being with their families
and friends, less time engaging in traditional spiritual practices or
observing the slow, subtle changes of the natural world around them. As
one Ladakhi told Norberg-Hodge, "Machines are dead; you have no
relationship with them. When you work with machines, you become like
them; you become dead yourself.
- Excerpts from The Zuni Man-Woman, by Will Roscoe, 1991 (ASCII text)
There is an old joke that the typical Zuni household consists of a
mother, father, children, and an anthropologist. In fact, the Zunis
are one of the most written-about tribes in the world. . . . It was
with genuine disappointment, then, that I came to realize how often
the impact of these outsiders on the objects of their fascination
has been disruptive and detrimental. Despite their admiration of
the Pueblos, early anthropologists more often bolstered the image
of the vanishing Indian than challenged it. . . .
observers were convinced that the cause of science and the
immenent disappearance of tribal cultures justified their actions. . . .
Such predictions enact what James Clifford has termed the redemptive
allegory of anthropology -- the assumption that the "primitive"
cultures are doomed to disappear except for those artifacts
"rescued" by Western scientists. Such predictions are not only
self-serving -- since they inflate the importance of the
fieldworkers's reports -- they can also be self-fulfilling. They
sustain and foster the idea of Indians as a vanishing race by
referring only to their past.
alternative view, however, challenges many comfortable
assumptions: that there are neither primitive nor civilized,
inferior nor superior, simple nor advanced societies -- only
different ones. This view requires learning to think in "plurals"
-- imagining the multiple histories and cultural stories of human
societies in every part of the world as parallel, equal developments
intersecting without necessarily merging, and associating non-Western
societies such as Zuni with the future of the planet instead of
its past. We must question the assumption that change means the
loss of something essential and find ways to discuss cultural
differences without encasing them in value-ladened descriptions.
- "A Native American Worldview, Hawk
and Eagle, Both are Singing,"
by Paula Underwood Spencer     (PDF, or ASCII formats)
science begins with an apprehension of the Whole, only
very carefully and on close inspection reaching tentative conclusions
about any Specificity.
science is based on a profound immersion in and awareness
of the whole circumstance. Rather than mistrusting personal experience,
Indigenous science has learned to thrive on it. . . .
basis of learning, the basis of the pedagogy, is to cease
preventing people from learning things for themselves. This way of
thinking, what goes on in here, can really be taught from the inside
out. When it's taught from the outside in, someone else comes between
you and yourself, and that's not considered a wise idea. That's the
one of your papers on Perennial Wisdom it says that the Native
tradition is nature-focused. I would like to modify that a little. I
would like to say that Indian traditions are nature-inclusive. You do
not see man and nature as separate from each other, but you see yourself
in the context of an interrelated whole instead.
. . The idea is that everybody learns, but you need to figure out
how a child learns in order to design a learning circumstance in
which each individual can teach themselves. The idea is always to teach
yourself. In fact there is no word "teach," or there didn't used to be,
in the fundamental language.
- Mother and Child: The Erotic Bond, by Lynda Marín (PDF,
see that what I am holding out for, in these borderline
experiments in erotic love with my son (the wording is so
sensitive here, and nothing that I can think to say is quite
what I mean), is a rewriting of sexuality as I know it. It is
not a free-for-all kind of sexuality that powered the
imagination of the "sexual revolution" of the '60s and '70s but
left us, men and women, just as split in ourselves as ever. It
is an inclusive kind of sexuality that recognizes itself
basically everywhere. It is not so scary in its infantility
because it's just as much a part of adulthood, too. And if we
were to recognize that kind of sexuality much more intimately in
ourselves all the time (since it's operating there all the time
anyway), we would have to pay it close attention, to be careful
and caring with it. I imagine our having to add lots of new
words to our language to describe it in its multiple
manifestations in any interaction, fantasy, work of art, etc.,
in much the same way we have thought Inuit peoples to have so
many words for snow. But I recognize that as innocently as I try
to cast it, it's a sexuality that would not support life on the
planet as we know it, that is, would not support social
hierarchies, multinational corporations, a free market economy,
racism, colonization, or any other of the problematic realities
that depend on our ability to split off what's safe and good
(mother) from what's desirable (woman). . . .
. . . . What I mean to say is what if,
for a reason I can't presume to know, for a split second some of
my psycho-social infrastructure slipped just enough to reveal
another of the best-kept secrets: that all love whether it be
for our children, our lovers, our work, our ideas, is
fundamentally the same love, is first and last, coming and
going, not even erotic but autoerotic? For isn't erotic love
just a further development, a successful splitting off,
redirecting, and renaming of that first continuous unbounded
connection/pleasure we feel with our mother's body?
course, autoeroticism is not such a secret since we can find
it strategically positioned, just as I'm suggesting now, in
psychoanalytic discourse. The real secret, though, is how
"ardorously" culture struggles to forget what eroticism actually
is, where it comes from, and why it is absolutely everywhere all
the time, especially and necessarily in a mother's love for her
child. When we successfully forget that fact, as we require
ourselves to do in the name of becoming adults, we severely
limit the ways we can experience the connection/pleasure which
originally nurtured us into life and which sustains our desire
for life forever after. It seems evident that one of the
reasons, for instance, that Western culture has so little
regard, by and large, for what's left of natural life -- for
plants and animals and earth and atmosphere -- is its successful
endeavor to see itself as separate from all that life, to forget
the connection/pleasure that informs our very being here.
- Understanding and the Imagination in the Light of
a talk by Terence McKenna in L.A., 10/17/87 (ASCII text)
A wide range of ground is covered here by an
extremely dynamic and glib raconteur. Of special
interest is the section on octopi
and the seeing of meaning communicated as pure intent without
ambiguity. (ASCII text)
- On Synchrony and Group Cohesion, by
Edward T. Hall (ASCII text)
Where does "music" "come from"? Salieri defined it thru Mozart as "taking
dictation from gaud." As difficult as it is for thought (the response of
memory) to grasp or understand the ineffable fact of human consciousness,
there appears to be some sort of capacity to `pluck an infinitude of beats
out of the sea of rhythm we are all immersed' in. The following provides
a glimpse of something the mind balks at seeing.
- The First Men, by Howard Fast (ASCII text and
gzip'd PostScript formats)
"Now something has happened. If these children can go into each
other's minds completely--then they will have a single memory, which is
the memory of all of them. All experience will be common to all of
them, all knowledge, all dreams--and they will be immortal. For as one
dies, another child is linked to the whole, and another and another.
Death will lose all meaning, all of its dark horror. Mankind will
begin, here in this place, to fulfill a part of its intended destiny--to
become a single, wonderful unit, a whole--almost in the old words of
your poet, John Donne, who sensed what we have all sensed at one time,
that no man is an island unto himself. Has any thoughtful man lived
without having a sense of that singleness of mankind? I don't think so.
We have been living in darkness, in the night, struggling each of us
with his own poor brain and then dying with all the memories of a
lifetime. It is no wonder that we have achieved so little. The wonder
is that we have achieved so much. Yet all that we know, all that we
have done will be nothing compared to what these children will know and
do and create--"